John AHW Dinnis and the 50th anniversary of a watch

John (Jack)As I think I must have said before, finding a new branch of my family always begins with a rush, and photographs, documents and stories pass between us in a flurry of excitement. The best way I have found to make sense of the chaos is to write about it here. It makes me focus on the people, put things in order of date and place, and I can move forward from there.

I thought I was fine with finding the current new family, unlike other branches there are no repeats of Christian names, no endless fathers named William for example.

And then I stopped to recap things for myself and realised I have been calling my grand Uncle John and Jack, interchangeably. I really need to sort this out, so my first job this morning was to go back to basics and visit the site to check some documents.

His birth, marriage and death documents have him down as ‘John’, so ‘Jack’ must be the family name he was called. I really can’t complain at people not using their birth names, I should be Jacqueline, but have always been Jackie.

The next information arriving here via Facebook was a couple of photographs of a watch that had belonged to John.




The back of the watch is inscribed with “To J A Dinnis from Staff RHQ Welsh Guards 26 Nov 65” which was 50 years ago today, which is some coincidence! The only information I have at the moment is that “it came from Wellington barracks, just down the road from Buckingham Palace. He trained the officers how to dress”. So I need to check all this out with other information I have.

For now I am enjoying just looking at the pictures of the watch and pondering its’ anniversary.


About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in Florence Violet Heard, John Albert H. Walter Dinnis, World War 2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to John AHW Dinnis and the 50th anniversary of a watch

  1. paulaacton says:

    It was apparently very common for John’s to be referred to as Jack, my son is a Jack named after his great granddad on his dad’s side but when my grandma heard the name she thought it was after her granddad as he was nicknamed Jack even though the fact his name was John, she said the reason was because it was such a popular name that even from being little they would have a variation of their name to distinguish them from the others

    • How very complicated! I remember my Dad calling his brother John, when to me he was ‘Uncle Jack’, I assumed that John was his proper name, but looking back at documents, he was definitely a ‘Jack’! I think maybe their father, Joseph was also called ‘Jack’ sometimes, as well as ‘Joe’. It’s good to know these things, so I can look out for variations on the name. Thank you 🙂

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